Wi-Fi: Can It Harm Your Child’s Health?

Wi-Fi Can It Harm Your Child's Health
Wi-Fi Can It Harm Your Child's Health

Almost anybody reading this article has used WiFi. In fact, you might be reading this over a WiFi connection, right now. It  has become ubiquitous. It is present in corporate offices, malls, restaurants, airports, bus stops and even schools. That’s where this question comes. If WiFi safe? In particular, is WiFi harmful to children?

Most parents would be concerned if their children had significant exposure to lead, chloroform, gasoline fumes, or the pesticide DDT. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRIC), part of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), classifies these and more than 250 other agents as Class 2B Carcinogens – possibly carcinogenic to humans. Another entry on that same list is radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF). The main sources of RF/EMF are radios, televisions, microwave ovens, cell phones, and Wi-Fi devices.

An eye-opening and controversial article published in the “Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure”, clearly states that children are at a greater risk of absorbing microwave radiation (MWR), than adults. Of course, that also means adults are at a lower albeit significant risk. Other than children, Fetuses are

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even more vulnerable than children. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid exposure to microwave radiation. A five-year-old absorbs up to 60 percent more radiation than an adult due largely to their thinner skulls and the high water content of a young body. Western countries, brain tumors have overtaken leukemia as the most common cause of cancer in children. You can read more about the same here. 

Yes, now one can ask the question, what has MWR have anything to do with WiFi signals? Actually, Everything. They operate on the same frequency. And even though WiFi and MWR operate at the same frequency, a generic WiFi router (0.1W – 1W) is much weaker in power than the standard microwave oven (1000W). Then why fear WiFi signals as the radiation emitted by them is far lesser than that of a microwave? The answer is very simple: long term exposure.

Even if one is exposed to harmful chemicals or radiation in very small doses, if it is continued regularly for the long term, it can cause terrible diseases in the future. How much are we exposed to

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WiFi every day? Almost every instant. Just like car exhaust fumes or factory smoke.

There has been a lot of research that shows, long term exposure to WiFi, especially in children can cause headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and palpitations. More alarming are even more serious conditions including brain tumors in young people, fertility problems, and neurological diseases such as early onset Alzheimer’s and autism can also occur. A 2008 study found a five-fold increase in the risk of glioma (a form of brain cancer now recognized by the World Health Organisation as being linked to mobile phone usage) for those starting mobile phone use under 20 years of age, indicating that the age group at first use is highly significant. Read here.

Moreover, the standards and regulations set by international bodies like the IEEE and the governments are inadequate and haven’t seem to have been updated for decades. In fact, many schools are banning WiFi and mobile phone usages in their premises. In February, the French government banned Wi-Fi in nursery schools and restricted use in primary schools. The German government has recommended

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that the use of Wi-Fi in the workplace or home should be avoided where possible. Los Angeles, USA, has reduced student exposure to Wi-Fi radiation to 10,000 times below US government standard.

What You Can Do:

But that doesn’t mean one has to throw away all wireless devices like cell phones, WiFi routers out of the window. One can minimize the effects of radiation by limiting the usage of the same.

• Try to keep your mobile switched off and don’t use it unless you need to. Keep your wi-fi switched off unless you really need it.

• Never carry your mobile close to your body, even on standby.

• Whenever feasible, try to use an Ethernet cable while using the internet.

• Replace cordless land lines with corded ones. Most cordless telephones give off radiation whether they’re in use or not.

 

 Edited By Rachelle Chandraan